After Molfetta we drove to Bari... a 25 minute drive on the Autostrada. The driving on the streets of Bari was a bit stressful due to crazy streets, no stop signs, yield signs when no one knows how to yield, scooters suddenly appearing on either side, and cars simply pulling out of intersections forcing me to stop. Driving in Manhattan is a stress free experience compared to this stuff. Needless to say when we saw the Hertz sign there was a collective sigh of relief... Driving in this nutty Italia is finito, completo, fine, full stop. Done. Whew.
Returning the car was painless enough. They even offered to drive us over to the station, avoiding a three block walk dragging luggage, and going down a flight of stairs to a tunnel under the tracks, then back up to the main platform. (Why don't they have car rental offices right at the train stations here?!) They dropped us off right in front of Bari Centrale. Great.
We waited over an hour for the train, then suddenly realized we forgot to get some lunch for the ride... I bought a few snacks and drink from a vending machine... the train pulled in at 1:17pm. Duh. Train arriving right around lunch. Duh, Babbo.
The train was pretty crowded so negotiating luggage was a task. Once we got moving we were fine... train travel here is actually very comfy. Babbo saved the day by cutting up some Altamura bread (still fresh) and getting out thick Tuscan Millefiore honey, cacciacavallo cheese and Nutella for lunch. It satisfied us. We nap a bit, play word games, Lucas plays Minecraft on a Kindle, we snack, more water and Fanta and in four hours we arrived in Rome Termini Station... one of the busiest stations I've ever been in. There are multiple trains pulling in several minutes apart, people everywhere, the signs are not too apparent... yikes. I mean, I've dealt with New York's Penn and Grand Central stations in my life, but I've never seen anything like this.
Then the we couldn't find our driver... they usually hold a card with your name on it and stand by the platform your train comes in on... but no driver and the throngs were so thick it was hard to see through them. A phone call and 15 minutes later, our fast talking, older, yet chic driver Cicelia showed up outside and took us to Gensola, our neat apartment in the Trastevere district... a cool, workaday yet trendy part of town which reminded me of Greenwich Village.
Our apartment is called Gensola in Trastevere. The first floor apartment is modern, stylish and very comfortable. Two bedrooms and two modern baths and a kitchenette on a ground floor of a teeny piazza with steps leading up to the Lugatevere, the road alongside the banks of the Tiber River. Cold air conditioning, powerful water pressure and comfy beds made this place a hit with all of us. Perfect.
And no more driving... I just hope my feet hold up with all the walking I know is ahead of us....